WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – Eyewitness News is learning new details about problems at a Wilmington apartment building that was shut down, displacing dozens of residents. The structural engineer’s report says there are 372 violations at these apartment buildings that have to be fixed before tenants can move back in.
Inspectors took photos showing fire damage on the floor framing, water damage on the ceiling from rainwater infiltration, and cracks on the brick wall.
The engineer’s report also says there’s mold, non-working smoke detectors, faulty electrical outlets, and missing supports in the floor at the property on the 800 block of North Adams Street. One tenant showed CBS3 the damage in her unit.
But the most pressing issue is the structural damage, which the Wilmington Department of Licenses and Inspections didn’t find out about until Sunday. That’s when a brick wall in an archway collapsed, exposing the joists in the floor above.
L&I issued an emergency order saying that the building is at risk of collapse, forcing tenants to leave immediately. Twenty-seven rental units are affected.
The landlord apologized for the situation, but blames the tenants for some of the violations in the report, like the pests.
“I don’t put roaches or I don’t put rodents in my apartments. It’s called ‘you’re dirty and you’re leaving food out. You’re not cleaning your apartment.’ I don’t have roaches. I have a clean house. My house doesn’t look like — I could take you to some of these apartments and you wouldn’t want to sit down. You would want to get out of them. That’s how some of these people keep their house,” landlord A.J. Pokorney said.
L&I says the department has taken the landlord to court several times for failing to correct previous violations.